'We’re isolated here': Tourists stranded at historic Machu Picchu as widespread unrest rocks Peru

'We’re isolated here': Tourists stranded at historic Machu Picchu as widespread unrest rocks Peru
Image via Shutterstock.

Throughout December, Peru has been rocked by widespread political unrest following the ousting and detention of President Pedro Castillo, who wanted to dissolve the Peruvian parliament. Peru, in response to the unrest, has declared a 30-day national emergency and suspended rights to assembly.

So far, at least 20 people have died during protests that turned violent. And tourists visiting Peru have been caught up in the unrest, including tourists who find themselves stranded at historic Machu Picchu.

Located about 50 miles from Cusco and 310 miles from Lima, Machu Picchu is a 15th Century Inca citadel and a major tourist attraction. Train service to and from Machu Picchu, according to The Guardian, was suspended after protesters blocked the train tracks with rocks.

READ MORE:Peru's oligarchy overthrows President Pedro Castillo

Some of the tourists stranded at Machu Picchu have been Americans. On Saturday, December 17, the U.S. Embassy in Lima announced, “The Government of Peru is organizing an evacuation via four helicopters of the most vulnerable foreign tourists from Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu Village. The Peruvian government has informed the U.S. Embassy that plans are in progress to assist all travelers in Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu Village with departure”

The Guardian’s Edward Helmore reports, “Protesters blocking access to Machu Picchu are believed to be mostly supporters of Castillo, a former teacher and son of peasant farmers. The escalation of protests over recent days has involved hundreds taking to the streets, disrupting road and air transportation.”

One of the American tourists who found himself stranded was Brian Vega, a fire captain visiting Peru from Miami. Vega told NBC News, “We’re isolated here. The only way in is via train or.… helicopter.”

American tourist Tom Gray, who was visiting Machu Picchu from Colorado, noted, “Our guide had to bribe the protesters to move the rocks to let us go back to our hotel.”

READ MORE: Supporters of defeated Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro demand a military coup

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by fontsempire.com.